The Centre for Emotional Materiality

Friday, November 16, 2018

Press coverage publication: 

BOMB Magazine


What is emotional materiality? How does it manifest, and is it measurable?

These are a few of the questions that inform the Centre for Emotional Materiality (CEM), a hybrid performance, lecture series, and installation on view at Southern Exposure (SoEx). A collaboration by CEM founder Surabhi Saraf, curator Sophia Wang, and multiple Bay Area artists, performers, and creative thinkers, CEM is a space in which we are invited to explore how we and our real-time interactions are influenced by ever-present technology.

CEM came about as Saraf, a multimedia artist, devoted her research to host of concerns: embodied cognition, emotional intelligence, artificial intelligence (AI), materiality of digital media, religion, myth, and rituals. Saraf recognized that each topic could take years to fully understand, and that a better way to approach it could be collaborating with others whose practices address similar issues.


The Centre for Emotional Materiality is founded on inquiry, foregrounding some of the most important existential questions we face: How do we manage our emotional health? What role does technology play in helping or hindering our wellbeing? Is ever present technology something to be wary of as we live our lives day to day? Do we want technological surrogates to take on our emotional heavy lifting, in effect voiding the somatic materiality represented by laughter or tears? ... the project advances a vital evolving dialogue that will likely carry us through this century and beyond.

Press coverage PDF: 

Press coverage author: 

Roula Seikaly